When faced with the task of notating a piece of music for performance I instantly knew what I wanted to do. I chose to breathe new life into an old song of mine- the first song I released; Valete. I enjoy playing the piece on piano and coming back to surgically reconstruct the piece having now been through a music education program allowed me to gain a new appreciation for it.
The main challenge faced through this process was learning the MuseScore interface and becoming familiar with sheet music- as a producer I work most in the Logic piano roll and trying to notate rhythms on sheet music was difficult initially.
As discussed, I'd been playing the piece on piano for many years so I decided to make notating piano my starting point. Luckily, the song is heavily structured, meaning once I had one section down I was able to copy and paste it a few times, quickly creating a basis upon which to create counter-melodies using the other instruments. The repetition was disguised through use of dynamic markings throughout the piece.
After the piano was down, I added Saxophone. I managed to make their parts mirror the vocal melody of the song with consideration given to the need of the players to take breaths. To enable room for breaths and make the part playable, I split the melody between the saxophones. This melody was too difficult to sight read within a single session of rehearsal, though later implementation of slash chords solved this issue.
Next came the drums- I found this particularly enjoyable. As a drummer of 7 years and a producer who loves strong, unique rhythm I was able to fluidly notate a drum part that didn't entirely match the original composition but brought new emotion to the piece. I found it easy to make the drum music performable- having played drums I knew the part felt realistic and had interesting syncopation that felt enjoyable to play! The last addition to the score as per Lindsay's recommendation was to add slash chords throughout. This was the best addition to the piece out of everything as the players followed these chords much more closely than the notated melodies. I appreciated this fact; I was looking for the piece to sound different to how it has over the last 2 years, and the improvisational approach made possible by slash chords made the recording process enjoyable as each take sounded different.

Slash chords written above melody too complex to sight read.

I thoroughly enjoyed notating and having the piece played; it opened my eyes to the diversity of approaches you can take in writing music, and I love the final product. The final score is 9 pages long.

The final arrangement, take 2/3

Back to Top